We absolutely owe it to Iraq’s refugees, Christian and non-Christian

…to organize an evacuation and give them asylum.

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  • HornOrSilk

    Indeed. Kyrie Eleison! This is the consequence of our actions. We must pay back the last penny, as Christ has said.

  • Dave G.

    I thin it’s absolutely appropriate for us to step in and help.

  • kirthigdon

    Offering asylum is one thing, although I think many of these people may prefer to stay as close as they safely can to their own homes, so they can recover these when the fortunes of war change. But organizing an evacuation, unless this is done by completely unarmed personel, is simply the beginning of another military intervention likely to make things much worse. The US invasion of Iraq set off ths war, which will probably continue for a generation or more. It will not improve things for the evil empire to jump back in to kill still more Arabs (and Persians, Turks, etc.).
    Kirt Higdon

    • MarylandBill

      This war is already started. Moving troops in for a few months with a defined mission of keeping the lid on things until we can evacuate the civilians is not at all the same as our original invasion.

      • kirthigdon

        If the US sends troops, they will be fighting and killing. That’s what troops do in a war. The US invaded Somalia on a humanitarian mission, lost dozens of Americans, killed hundreds if not thousands of Somalis and left Somalia in chaos. Mission definitions expand and months stretch into years. Do you really trust the regime to get this one right? This is exactly the kind of thinking that locks the US into a permanent war with the rest of the world. There will always be some kind of horrendous situation going on which Americans think can be solved if only the US will invade or bomb.

        Kirt Higdon

      • kenofken

        That’s like a five time rehab survivor addict telling themselves they can just do a little bump of coke and it’ll all be fine. How is “keeping a lid on things” a defined mission? That was the “limited” mission of Vietnam and of our decade long occupation of Iraq.

        • Pardon me, what is this rehab you’re talking about? Is it leaving my family and I behind the iron curtain where we were literally sold off for geopolitical and financial gain? Was it watching the killing fields and doing nothing? Was it in betraying the Hmong? Please, do tell me what is this rehab you’re talking about.

    • The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait started a state of war, one that never actually got settled until the post-Saddam government got handed sovereignty back. When the US military left, ISIS didn’t exist, Iraq had control of its sovereignty and it had a decent start at an army. I don’t say a decent army because it takes a couple of decades to really grow a general staff. Sergeants and lieutenants don’t take as long.

      In the several years since, the Maliki government has replaced the professionals with political sycophants at the highest ranks who bugged out when challenged with a real opponent. It has also reinstituted massive graft in the military logistical chain that weakened the resources available to fight the invasion. It also undid the inclusion of Iraqi sunnis, weakening their allegiance to the Iraqi state and making them more willing to give these new ISIS people a shot at rule.

      To lay the blame on the US for this turn of events is to deny moral agency to Iraqis and is, frankly, a bigoted thing to do.

      • kirthigdon

        ISIS, then called AQI (al Qaeda in Iraq) and now just IS (the Islamic State) certainly existed before the US military left Iraq, though not before the US military invaded in the first place. And without US help (that we know of) they did not take decades to build a decent army. The Maliki government was installed by Bush and maintained in power by Obama. At the same time, Maliki has often acted as an agent of Iran. I don’t deny his culpability and that of other Iraqi collaborators, but pitching out this puppet and installing another won’t work either. The US did that several times in Vietnam too.
        Kirt Higdon

        • You are assuming that ISIS has a decent army today, facts not in evidence. What’s in evidence is that they have a better army than what Maliki is wielding at present. A couple of turkish air strikes should not have had the positive effect they had if ISIS was a decent army. That’s just one data point but there aren’t a lot currently available.

          You are also just asserting without evidence that elections in 2005 and 2010 national elections were not legitimate expressions of the will of the Iraqi people. There was also a round of local elections in 2013 which sane electorates often use to send a message to the national government.

          All this is while you dance around, avoiding the question of whether you grant moral agency to the Iraqis which is quite the disappointment. That’s the kind of question that should have a direct, one word or one phrase, black or white answer. But you’re failing to give it which leads me to think you’re struggling with the question.

          Every normal human being has moral agency. Bigots often do not agree with that statement when it comes to the groups that they are bigoted against because they don’t view them as normal human beings.

          So why aren’t you answering the moral agency question? It’s an obvious issue you would want to get off the table as quickly as possible because not answering is really bad for your argument.

          This fits right in to your new accusation that Maliki “often acted as an agent of Iran”. So who is responsible for the actions of the Iraqi government? Is it Iran, the US, or Iraq?

          • kirthigdon

            Of course, the Iraqis have moral agency, although the moral agency of any people who have been conquered and occupied is bound to be diminished by the pressure of conquest and occupation. A Navy veteran friend of mine used to inquire who are the better quality people of a country – those who collaborate with conquerors and occupiers and betray their compatriots for the favor of their rulers or those who resist. Of course, the resisters are also subject to the moral law and have agency. But don’t be so upset with my feeble attempts to hold Obomber accountable for his misdeeds. Bombs are falling on Iraq; you should be celebrating and probably are. Do cheer leaders for war have moral agency? Perhaps I’m wrong to think them accountable.

            Kirt Higdon

            • Here is the fundamental difference between us. We both are not idiots and have guesses about the other person’s position on Iraq. I actually ask questions to determine whether my guesses are accurate and go on from there after any necessary adjustments to my presuppositions. You are more comfortable just going with the guesses and not bothering to ask questions. This is known as prejudice, under certain circumstances and motivations (which I do not know if you qualify) it is known as bigotry.

              All thanks to the Navy veteran friend of yours for his service but that does not get him a pass on his idiocy. There is a difference between occupation by the Soviets and occupation by the western allies, a fact well known to the Nazi forces who, in the last part of WW II, actively attempted to control who captured them and to minimize the Soviet gains in Germany and maximize the western ones.

              Without any adjustment at all for the character of the likely domestic leadership vs the leadership of the occupiers, you get really the really dumb position that it was a morally lesser course to collaborate and shorten the western occupation of Germany than to be one of the few Nazi dead end resistance members.

              As to what my own opinion is, shame on you for not asking and you got it wrong. On Iraq I’ve been sad at our premature departure when we knew the the job was not done yet and am sadder still that we did not luck out and have Iraq just settle down.

              I know that the bombs falling now are a consequence of this premature withdrawal and the immaturity of the Shia political culture that did not manage its chance at governance well. It’s a complete foul up and a lost chance at breaking the ongoing dynamics of the Middle East that have cost so much death and misery over the course of decades, if not centuries.

              I am sure it would be convenient to your prejudices if I were happy at the bombings instead of the reality that I view them as only the start of a salvage operation that is likely to be as bad a screw up as the status of forces renewal negotiations, if only because the players are all the same.

      • HornOrSilk

        If you look back to the first Iraq War, there was a lot of propaganda and lies about Iraq coming from Kuwait, which tried to make us get to war to defend Kuwait’s illegal actions. The blame is not only with the US, but the US is to blame.

        • I’m sorry, did Iraq not invade Kuwait? Were the illegal actions (I believe it was slant drilling into Iraq for oil that was the relevant accusation from the Iraqi side) something that couldn’t be resolved by an investigative committee of engineers and binding international arbitration?

          What, exactly, are you saying should have happened between Iraq and Kuwait? What is the behavior precedent that you supported happening instead?

          • HornOrSilk

            In theory, Kuwait had first invaded Iraq. And Iraq was given the go ahead to respond by the Bush administration (April Glaspie).

            • I never heard that. Could you point to some sort of contemporaneous account even asserting it? Slant drilling across an international border is not an invasion, or if it is, applying that standard to the US/Mexico border would lead us to have troops in an occupied Mexico City. I’m not in favor of that but if that’s the rule that you would apply between Iraq and Kuwait, why would that rule not apply in relations between the US and Mexico?

              • HornOrSilk

                While it is wiki, it gives sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Glaspie

                • It also doesn’t say that Kuwait invaded Iraq. What it says was that Iraq withdrew its recognition of Kuwait’s independence and borders, something that dated back to October of 1963.

  • Adolfo

    And it will be yet another abdication of our responsibility toward a people we’ve screwed over. Frankly, it’d be unAmerican to help them at all.

  • Petey

    “American military forces bombed at least two targets in northern Iraq on
    Thursday night to rout Islamist insurgents who have trapped tens of
    thousands of religious minorities in Kurdish areas, Kurdish officials

    Word of the bombings, reported on Kurdish television from the city of Erbil,
    came as President Obama was preparing to make a statement in


  • BHG

    Agreed. Now how? Unarmed civilians will be massacred too. Armed military seem inconsonant with your position. Serious question. How do we do it?

  • ivan_the_mad

    I certainly agree that this country has a moral responsibility in this matter. Perhaps we could adapt one of the bishops’ policy recommendations regarding the UAC and set up in-country processing stations to facilitate asylum claims for these people.

    I’d say a prayer for the pesh merga as well. Apparently they were the only line of defense for a lot of these villages of Christians and Yazidi to the north-east of Mosul, and retreated from ISIS because they were overstretched and out of ammunition. Reports say that there are 40,000 Yazidi holed up on that mountain, with ISIS held off by a small force of pesh merga and Yazidi. The pesh merga launched an unsuccessful counter-offensive to relieve these people.

    CNEWA is soliciting donations for aid here.

    • Res Ipsa

      Here here! I fully agree.

  • Res Ipsa

    On the basis that:

    1. Iraqi Christians in northern Iraq are Assyrian, the original population of the region predating the Arabs; and

    2. We broke the country by taking out its icky, but secular, government that protected all religions, as it didn’t really care much about any of them; and

    3. We’re fooling ourselves if we think every Christian or Zoroastrian put on the road is going to get out (shades of the Armenian massacre anyone?).

    Maybe what we really owe the situation is direct military support to the Kurds and a cessation of any concern if that upsets the central Iraqi government. I.e., the Kurds, sufficiently armed and with air support, will defend that territory against the “radical” ISIL. If that leads to the an independant Kurdistan, well who could blame them, and wouldn’t that be better for the Assyrian minority?